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Lumabas at Chumika

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Kandungan disediakan oleh Church for LGBT - Open Table MCC - Philippines. Semua kandungan podcast termasuk episod, grafik dan perihalan podcast dimuat naik dan disediakan terus oleh Church for LGBT - Open Table MCC - Philippines atau rakan kongsi platform podcast mereka. Jika anda percaya seseorang menggunakan karya berhak cipta anda tanpa kebenaran anda, anda boleh mengikuti proses yang digariskan di sini https://ms.player.fm/legal.

Pagsapit ng Araw ng Pentecostes, nagtitipon silang lahat sa isang lugar. Biglang nagkaroon ng isang ugong mula sa langit, gaya ng isang napakalakas na hangin, at napuno nito ang bahay na kanilang kinaroroonan. May nakita silang tila mga dilang apoy na nahahati at lumapag sa bawat isa sa kanila. Napuspos silang lahat ng Banal na Espiritu, at nagsalita sa iba’t ibang wika, ayon sa kakayahang magpahayag na ipinagkaloob sa kanila ng Espiritu. Naninirahan noon sa Jerusalem ang mga Judiong masigasig sa kanilang pananampalataya. Galing pa sila sa iba’t ibang mga bansa. Nang dumating ang ugong na ito, nagtipon sila at namangha sapagkat nagsasalita ang mga alagad sa mga wika nilang mga nakikinig. Labis silang nagulat at namangha, kaya’t sila’y nagtanong, “Pakinggan ninyo! Hindi ba mga taga-Galilea ang lahat ng mga nagsasalitang ito? Paanong nangyaring naririnig ng bawat isa sa atin ang ating mga sariling wika sa kanila? Tayong mga Parto, mga Medo, mga Elamita, mga naninirahan sa Mesopotamia, sa Judea, at sa Capadocia, sa Ponto at sa Asia. Mayroon din sa ating taga-Frigia at Pamfilia, sa Ehipto at sa mga lupain ng Libya na sakop ng Cirene, at mga panauhing taga-Roma, mga Judio at mga nahikayat maging Judio. May mga taga-Creta at taga-Arabia rin dito. Paano sila nakapagsasalita sa ating mga sariling wika tungkol sa mga kamangha-manghang gawa ng Diyos?” Namangha sila at nalito, kaya sila’y nagtanungan, “Ano ang kahulugan nito?” Ngunit ang iba nama’y may pangungutyang nagsabi, “Lasing ang mga iyan.” Kaya’t tumayo si Pedro, kasama ang labing-isa, at nagpahayag sa malakas na tinig, “Mga kababayan kong Judio at mga naninirahan sa Jerusalem, unawain ninyo ito at makinig kayong mabuti sa sasabihin ko. Hindi lasing ang mga taong ito, gaya ng akala ninyo. Ngayo’y ikasiyam pa lang ng umaga. Sa halip, ang pangyayaring ito’y katuparan ng sinabi ni propeta Joel:

‘Ito ang mangyayari sa mga huling araw, sabi ng Diyos, ibubuhos ko sa lahat ng tao ang aking Espiritu; magpapahayag ang inyong mga anak na lalaki at babae ng mensahe mula sa Diyos, makakakita ng pangitain ang inyong mga kabataang lalaki, mananaginip ang inyong mga matatandang lalaki, maging sa mga aliping lalaki at babae, sa mga araw na iyon ay ibubuhos ko ang aking Espiritu, at sila’y magpapahayag. Magpapakita ako ng mga kababalaghan sa langit, at ng mga tanda sa lupa; dugo, apoy, at makapal na usok. Magdidilim ang araw, at magkukulay-dugo ang buwan, bago sumapit ang dakila at maningning na Araw ng Panginoon. At mangyayari na sinumang tumawag sa pangalan ng Panginoon ay maliligtas.’

Pagbasa
Gawa 2:1-21 (FSV)

The first act of fighting back is speaking out. True? Ang unang gawain sa pakikibaka ay paghahayag. Tama? Because we can only fight back and protest those that we can identify and we can name; That which we can speak about. Mahirap iprotesta at labanan ang mga bagay at pangyayaring hindi mo masabi-sabi. Paano mo ipaglalaban ang iyong kaapihan kung hindi mo ito unang mabigkas? Hence, the first work of fighting for rights is to speak out, cry-out, and voice out? Oppressors and systems of oppression do not only exploit you, they silence you also. Part of the silencing is to tell you that your oppression is normal and normative and the very best way to do it is to say that God ordained it to be so. Some idiotic preachers would even teach na niloob talaga ng Diyos na merong mayayaman at merong mahihirap at parte talaga ng kalooban nya na merong injustice. Kalooban ng Diyos ang Patriarchy and that women’s highest honor is to be home makers. If that is not enough, the same system will tell you that if you deviate from the system, it will shame and ostracize you or worst do violence against you and your family for SPEAKING OUT like what happened to Jesus, an annoying preacher who will not shut-up. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the temple priest and other leaders told Jesus, manahimik ka at patahimikin mo ang mga sumusunod sayo to which he replied, kahit patahimikin ko sila mismong mga bato at pader ay magsasalita. Oh eh di yun, pinako sya sa Krus. However, hindi mo kasi mapapatay hindi lamang si Jesus, pero gayun dun yung mensaheng kanyang inihayag. You cannot kill and bury Jesus and the message he proclaimed. Where there is systemic and structural sin, God will always rise up from the many massacres and graves that we try to bury God into. The God we worship will not be silenced so why should we? God will always and continue to rise up with each new generation of the oppressed. The resistance and the Jedi will always be reborn even at the brink of annihilation. This is what Easter means. Hindi maililibing ang Diyos na palaging babangon sa bawat henerasyon ng mga api because the first generation Christians were literally a group of oppressed, mga pesante at api sa emperyo at templo. And what Pentecost means is not just the Spirit that anoints the oppressed followers of Jesus but also the Spirit speaking out the Easter message through a people who were once afraid, silenced, and voiceless. Ang mensahe pa rin ng Pentecost ay ang muling pagkabuhay – if I dare say, ang paulit-ulit na pagkabuhay at pagbangon ni Hesus sa mga inaaping nagpupumiglas at nais maghayag at magkwento. The followers of Jesus were a group of no bodies. They were powerless individuals with no significant wealth or influence. Despite witnessing the resurrection they remained as cowards huddled together in a room fearing for their lives because they might also get arrested, tortured, and killed by Jewish and Roman authorities. They were huddled together in an upper room with windows shut and doors locked. And despite witnessing the risen Christ eating and drinking with them, and then later, according to Luke and Matthew’s story, ascended to heaven – wherever heaven is – they didn’t know what to do next or where to go. Easter joy was wrapped with with fear lalo na nung umalis na si Hesus somewhere out there. But somehow, for some reason, all of a sudden they woke-up one morning with such bravery and boldness that they went out to proclaim a dangerous message – Jesus is risen and the Spirit testifies to the work and message of Jesus of Nazareth whom Temple and Empire tried to kill but could not; That his radical vision of society of equality and justice rooted on radically inclusive love remains and will push forward. Kaya dangerous yung message. Na si Hesus at ang mensahe nya ay buhay at magpapatuloy despite the violence of temple and empire.

And this message proclaimed by the disciples in that first Pentecost was heard and understood by many people of different languages. Why? Aside from the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon them like tongues of fire, voicing out a message of freedom, equality, and new life outside the Imperial systems of this world is something that every human being, especially the oppressed, can understand and will understand. A message of hope and new life in the person of one who is like them, a peasant from Nazareth is something that hearts of the oppressed will recognize. The language of the oppressed is universal. The language of love based on justice is universal. The Language of human dignity and rights is universal. Pag may nanakit sayo o sa mahal mo sa buhay; kung may nambastos sayo; kung ninakawan ka or pamilya mo; each one of us will have the same feelings and reactions, and we of course naturally and universally want to make it right. Yung ngang nagkamali sa sukat sa lupa kahit kapiraso lang ang nakuha sa iyong lupain, kinagagalit mo o kaya ng pamilya mo; To drive the point further, inagawan ka ng jowa nung kaibigan mo. Sumakabilang kaibigan yung jowa mo, diba magagalit ka? You are not only offended and disrespected, ang pakiramdam mo talaga ninakawan ka, inisahan ka, binetray ka? We all understand and recognize what injustice looks like even in such situations kaya walang makakapagsabi sino man sa atin na hindi nyo alam o naranasan ang injustice or being treated unfairly. Sino ka man, ano man ang antas ng iyong pinag-aralan, ano man ang iyong pinaniniwalaan o hindi pinaniniwalaan – pag alam mong ginawan ka ng masama, alam mong may nanglamang sayo, naturalmenteng gusto mo itong maitama. Naturalmente na gusto natin patas at pantay ang laban. The experience of exclusion and exploitation is universal whether you see it or not. Justice is what love looks like in society, and therefore it is as universal as love. No race, language, religion, culture, or Empire can de-universalize love expressed thru justice and common good, which is the core message of every religion and spiritual tradition anyway – the heart of the Jewish covenant, and the core commandment of Jesus – Love your neighbor as you love yourself. This is the way to Love God.

Tayo who claim to be Queer progressive Christians – we claim to follow Jesus while recognizing human imperfection – we are called for the first task of protest – Proclamation. Pagpapahayag. I use the word proclamation rather than evangelization because na-hijack na ng ibang Christians ang word na evangelization to mean preaching God’s word in order to convert anyone into their version of toxic Christianity.

So let us use proclamation. Afterall it is the same thing. To Evangelize is to Proclaim Goodnews to the poor and oppressed, give sight to the blind, give freedom to the captives and declare the Jubilee of the Lord as per Luke 4:18. How do we Proclaim? How do we make chika bilang Easter and Pentecost people 2,024 years after?

Discern, pray, and reflect – Hindi chika kaagad kung hindi naman malinaw mismo sayo ano ang ichichika mo. May moment na kailangan pag-isipan maigi ang ichichika. Lalo na sa ating mga accla, ang dami rin sa atin chika ng chika ng hindi muna nag-iisip maigi. Before Pentecost came, the followers of Jesus were together constantly praying and it is safe to assume that in their prayers, both individual and as a group, they also reflected and tried to make sense of everything that happened to Jesus from the beginning of his ministry in Galilee, the many miracles he performed, to his entry into Jerusalem, his arrest and torture, condemnation and eventual crucifixion and death, and then later witnessing and experiencing him alive and eating and drinking with them. Before they could come out and proclaim, they prayed and reflected, and in their prayers waited for the Holy Spirit. Hindi tayo nagsisimba dito linggo-linggo para lang magbaklaaan although walang masama sa mga baklaan natin, kwentuhang drag or biruang Bini, while at the same time, what we do here individually and together has to be very clear and part of it is our prayer life and reflection. We pray for God’s guidance and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We prayerfully reflect, asan ba ang Diyos sa mga kaganapan sa aking buhay? Asan ba ang Diyos sa kaganapan sa Open Table MCC? Asan ba ang Diyos sa kaganapan sa LGBTQIA+ movement? Asan ang pagkilos ng Diyos sa mga Pride events at mga martsa? Asan ba ang Diyos sa mga kaganapan sa iba’t iba pang mga sector? Paano Sya patuloy na kumikilos sa ating panahon ngayon? Ano ang kanyang ibinubulong sa puso ng bawat isa at sa ating kolektibo kung ano ba ang ating mga dapat gawin, ganapin, at kalahukan ayon sa ating mga kakayanan? Before we can proclaim — actually, hindi before but AS WE PROCLAIM we must constantly seek and discern God in prayer and reflection. Many of the Christians Mystics even those who are activists like Dorothy Day, the trappiest monk Merton, and the gay priest, Di umano, Fr. Henry Nouwen all said that Justice work like spirituality, require a deep sense of prayer. To check the health of our work as a church, they said to check our prayer life. Kumusta ang prayer life natin individually and as a church community? We must continually discern and reflect God’s presence and wisdom in our continuing mission of proclamation.

Bravely Proclaim – Upon the coming of the Holy Spirit to the first generation Christians, despite the threat of the similar imprisonment, torture, and possible execution that Jesus endured, they bravely went out to proclaim Christ’s resurrection and his message of a love thru compassion, justice, and common good. Yung mga duwag na nagsitakbuhan nung at nagsipag tago nung inaresto si Jesus; yung mga disipules na nowhere to be found during his crucifixion except for some women, now they were bold and brave to speak publicly about Jesus and his message. Wala na silang pakielam kung hulihin sila and indeed hinuli nga si Pedro at Juan at dinala sa Sanhedrin. They went out and proclaimed. Lumabas sila at nagpahayag. There is no way circumventing this and dito tayo natatalo ng mga conservative Christians kasi sobrang kakapal ng mukha nila that some of them will knock door to door, “Gusto mo bang marinig ang mabuting balita ni Hesu Kristo?.” Pero wala ito sa kakapalan ng Mukha actually. It is in their conviction. They are so convinced that they need to convert people to their version of Christianity and their church. While the intention and motivation is problematic, the conviction is really convincing many. Sobrang convicing minsan pati kapwa nating accla nacoconvince nil an pwede silang mabago sa pamamagitan ng exorcism. Diba? Habang tayong mga progressive Christians na naka aircon sa 16th floor ng Wilshire Annapolis Plaza, tend to be cloistered and think that making chika sa labas is so beneath us; to “evangelize” is so ewww. Even when we are equally convicted na mas mapagpalaya, logical, at mas maka-Diyos at makatao ang ating mga pinaniniwalaan at ang ating misyon, we cringe at the idea of handing out pamplets.

Now, I am not saying na next week mag-door-to-door tayo sa mga condominums sa Mandaluyong or dyan sa Manhattan sa Cubao or dito mismo sa building na ito. Pero it is really something to think about and consider not only on how we can do better sa ating proclamation but also if we have the conviction to proclaim God’s love as a way to challenge the evangelization of toxic Christians and their toxic Christianity.

Individually – how do you bravely proclaim what you have found either in your life before MCC or here in MCC. Eh di ikwento mo. Ikwento nyo. Tularan nyo si Jack na nag-evangelize nung unang date nila ni Glenn. During the dark ages, merong isang best in invite – Ang chizmiz, yung mga nameet nya na hindi nya bet, dadalhin nya sa MCC. Hindi man kita maging jowa, maging sister, brother, or sibling kay Lord. Although parang hindi ata recommended yun noh? Do we chika the inclusive and liberating faith in Jesus Christ as proclaimed and practiced by Open Table MCC? Do you? Shinashare mo man lang ba ang announcements natin sa facebook and IG? How do you chika SOGIESC101 to your friends and family? How do you chika about SOGIE equality bill to others even among other LGBTs na wala pa rin ding clue about it? Aside from making chika about church – Do you still come out and tell your story as a way of proclamation?

Your story is a Jesus story. Ang Diyos ay kumilos at patuloy na kumikilos sa iyong buhay bilang Queer Christian – ito ba ay inihahayag mo para ma-encourage, inspire, or mabigyan ng lakas ng loob ang mga kapwa mo LGBT lalo na mga batang LGBT na once upon a time was YOU? Kung ikaw ay isa sa mga pinagpalang anak ng Diyos na hindi nakaranas ng pang-aapi sa sariling pamilya dahil yung family mo ay either walang pakielam or yung family mo ay tanggap ka ng buong-buo, hindi ka parin OFF duty of proclaiming the message of God’s love found in your life. As blessed as you are, you are still asked to proclaim God’s love found in your story.

Don’t get me wrong. I will uphold and honor the idea na Coming Out is each person’s decision and I respect those who do not feel to come out. But consider this baks… Simply because okay ka na, kung okay ka man talaga and you feel that you do not own anyone and this world your story… are you not being a little selfish and a Diva sa ganyang linyahan? Attituderang “I DON’T CARE!” Until we reach that day and society where coming out is a thing of the past, until then, every single one of us will STILL need to come out and tell our story to help, inspire, and give courage to our nakshies, beshies, and even our grannies who lived at a different time and generation of being queer. Kahit utang-uta na ako sa pagchika ng kwento ko bilang baklang pastor na pumasok sa seminary – when needed I tell the story. You need to tell your story if and when you are ready but not from an attitude of apathy. Someone needs to hear your story. Someone has to hear your journey from pain and struggle inside the closet and out into joy, freedom, and success. Someone needs to hear your love story. People need to hear the 17 years relationship of Pastor Egay and Kuya Vince. That it is possible for Queer people to live happy and successful lives. Someone needs to hear your story of survival from HIV and AIDS. Someone needs to keep telling the stories of our fallen friends who died because of AIDS and the stigma propated by no less than Christians. That you as a person living with HIV, you are now living a life of joy; that your status does not prevent you from pursuing a joyful and meaningful life. A newly diagnosed person needs to hear your story if only to another life. And that in everything you had to experience, struggle, and endure, even in your most painful experiences, that GOD was, is, and always there. Now, don’t get me wrong, hindi ko ibig sabihin. You come out everywhere, anytime, all the time. Of course, be wise and discerning when, where, and how for not everyone deserves your story, but definitely, someone does. Some needs to see and hear the Gospel through you and through your story. Remember this, dead is the person who no longer has any stories to tell. And certainly you do not worship a dead God but one who is alive and ever present – Immanuel – God with us.

Actively and passionately Volunteer in the different ministries of the church and share in our financial responsibility – So it is not just proclaiming God’s love as individuals, it is also proclaiming God’s love as a Church. And we effectively do that when each of us volunteer and do our part of the work. We are able to do more and reach more people when the most basic things of church organizing and worship are done not just out of duty but out of love; out of conviction. Babalik ako dun sa chika ko kanina na kaya madalas talo tayo ng mga conservative Christians is because, yung frustration natin with them bitbit natin dito sa MCC and therefore, we no longer give our better and best. Nung nasa megachurch pa ako, ganito kalaki ang binibigay ko at ganitong amount of time and spend ko sa kanila pero nung nag-MCC na… well. Hmmm. Now, I’m not saying rin naman na gawin nyong mundo at buhay ang MCC in the same way as before. One of the core commitment of the leadership of this church and me as your pastor is to respect and honor your personal autonomy and freedom, and to always encourage you to do other things outside of this church. To have some distance from this church. To experience God in other places and other relationships. While at the same time, I want us to think deeply and carefully how much do we want our church to BE THE CHURCH that God intended it to be and TO BE THE CHURCH WE CAN BE TRULY PROUD OF? A progressive church that offers a Christian spirituality that is liberating, logical, diverse, compassionate, and hindi toxic. May chika ang group nila Joms during the visioning workshop last year na hindi naman masama ang maging Mega Church at maging mainstream ang isang progressive church na tulad ng MCC kung napaka buti ng naidudulot nito as experienced by each of you. Kung papatulan ko yang dream of a queer mega church – the question is, what are you willing to do? How much of your time, talent, energy, presence, patience, and finances are you willing to POUR OUT into that vision and into the mission? DO You have the conviction to say to them, if you can, we can even better? Yan chika nung founding pastor ng Free Community Church Singapor, nung nagsisimula pa lang sila at wala pang sariling facility, merong conviction sa puso nya na “if the conservative Christians can do it, we can do it even better. We will show you all.” Cause if we will continue to just give barya barya of our time, talent, treasure, barya barya of our heart, body, mind and spirit – Let’s not expect or dream of something we are not willing to put ourselves into. And again this is matter of conviction and commitment that I will never pressure you, shame you or manipulate anyone of you. It is a matter of conviction and conviction that each of you have to decide for yourself again and again. To proclaim the story of God’s love for queer people and for all people in and through Open Table MCC, we must open ourselves to the inspiration and anointing of the Holy Spirit to do what we can in the different ministries, advocacies, and administrative tasks of this church we call our home, our family, and our mission.

This year is the 30th Anniversary of the 1994 Pride march by our queer ancestors of MCC Manila and Pro-Gay Philippines. I would interpret the coming of the Holy Spirit when the first Asian MCC Bishop, Rev. Tong Han came to the Philippines, April of 1994 and encouraged MCC Manila to conduct the first Pride march and because of that, June 26, 1994, nagmartsa ang MCC Manila and Pro Gay Philippines with the banner, Gays and Lesbians Unite, Fight for Our Rights! Lumabas sila tulad nung mga unang disipules nung Pentecost. Lumabas sila bilang mga marginalized upang ipahayag sa lahat ang kanilang pagkatao, karapatan, at mga ka-apihan. Bilang MCC lumabas rin sila para ihayag ang mapagpalayang at mapangyakap nap ag-ibig ng Diyos para sa sang-ka-acclahan sa Pilipinas. After the Pride march they continued to tell stories in the pulpit during worship and proclaim during dinner times of the community. 30 years after, we continue to tell their story and proclaim the same message they did. 2000 years after we continue to tell the story of a carpenter’s son and his message of love found in the parables of farmers and fisherfolks. In memory of the first century Christians during their Pentecost Moment and in memory of the first Pride March in the Philippines by our queer ancestors, with the power and anointing of the same Holy Spirit let us continue fighting for our rights by proclaiming God’s love rooted in justice and equality. Let us continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus found in the stories and struggles of our lives. Sa ngalan nila Ipaglaban natin ang ating Kulayaan sa pamamagitan ng paghahayag ng ating karapatan, pagkwekwentong ating mga karanasan, at pagpapatotoo sa pag-big ng Diyos kay Kristo. Amen.

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Manage episode 419069377 series 1937250
Kandungan disediakan oleh Church for LGBT - Open Table MCC - Philippines. Semua kandungan podcast termasuk episod, grafik dan perihalan podcast dimuat naik dan disediakan terus oleh Church for LGBT - Open Table MCC - Philippines atau rakan kongsi platform podcast mereka. Jika anda percaya seseorang menggunakan karya berhak cipta anda tanpa kebenaran anda, anda boleh mengikuti proses yang digariskan di sini https://ms.player.fm/legal.

Pagsapit ng Araw ng Pentecostes, nagtitipon silang lahat sa isang lugar. Biglang nagkaroon ng isang ugong mula sa langit, gaya ng isang napakalakas na hangin, at napuno nito ang bahay na kanilang kinaroroonan. May nakita silang tila mga dilang apoy na nahahati at lumapag sa bawat isa sa kanila. Napuspos silang lahat ng Banal na Espiritu, at nagsalita sa iba’t ibang wika, ayon sa kakayahang magpahayag na ipinagkaloob sa kanila ng Espiritu. Naninirahan noon sa Jerusalem ang mga Judiong masigasig sa kanilang pananampalataya. Galing pa sila sa iba’t ibang mga bansa. Nang dumating ang ugong na ito, nagtipon sila at namangha sapagkat nagsasalita ang mga alagad sa mga wika nilang mga nakikinig. Labis silang nagulat at namangha, kaya’t sila’y nagtanong, “Pakinggan ninyo! Hindi ba mga taga-Galilea ang lahat ng mga nagsasalitang ito? Paanong nangyaring naririnig ng bawat isa sa atin ang ating mga sariling wika sa kanila? Tayong mga Parto, mga Medo, mga Elamita, mga naninirahan sa Mesopotamia, sa Judea, at sa Capadocia, sa Ponto at sa Asia. Mayroon din sa ating taga-Frigia at Pamfilia, sa Ehipto at sa mga lupain ng Libya na sakop ng Cirene, at mga panauhing taga-Roma, mga Judio at mga nahikayat maging Judio. May mga taga-Creta at taga-Arabia rin dito. Paano sila nakapagsasalita sa ating mga sariling wika tungkol sa mga kamangha-manghang gawa ng Diyos?” Namangha sila at nalito, kaya sila’y nagtanungan, “Ano ang kahulugan nito?” Ngunit ang iba nama’y may pangungutyang nagsabi, “Lasing ang mga iyan.” Kaya’t tumayo si Pedro, kasama ang labing-isa, at nagpahayag sa malakas na tinig, “Mga kababayan kong Judio at mga naninirahan sa Jerusalem, unawain ninyo ito at makinig kayong mabuti sa sasabihin ko. Hindi lasing ang mga taong ito, gaya ng akala ninyo. Ngayo’y ikasiyam pa lang ng umaga. Sa halip, ang pangyayaring ito’y katuparan ng sinabi ni propeta Joel:

‘Ito ang mangyayari sa mga huling araw, sabi ng Diyos, ibubuhos ko sa lahat ng tao ang aking Espiritu; magpapahayag ang inyong mga anak na lalaki at babae ng mensahe mula sa Diyos, makakakita ng pangitain ang inyong mga kabataang lalaki, mananaginip ang inyong mga matatandang lalaki, maging sa mga aliping lalaki at babae, sa mga araw na iyon ay ibubuhos ko ang aking Espiritu, at sila’y magpapahayag. Magpapakita ako ng mga kababalaghan sa langit, at ng mga tanda sa lupa; dugo, apoy, at makapal na usok. Magdidilim ang araw, at magkukulay-dugo ang buwan, bago sumapit ang dakila at maningning na Araw ng Panginoon. At mangyayari na sinumang tumawag sa pangalan ng Panginoon ay maliligtas.’

Pagbasa
Gawa 2:1-21 (FSV)

The first act of fighting back is speaking out. True? Ang unang gawain sa pakikibaka ay paghahayag. Tama? Because we can only fight back and protest those that we can identify and we can name; That which we can speak about. Mahirap iprotesta at labanan ang mga bagay at pangyayaring hindi mo masabi-sabi. Paano mo ipaglalaban ang iyong kaapihan kung hindi mo ito unang mabigkas? Hence, the first work of fighting for rights is to speak out, cry-out, and voice out? Oppressors and systems of oppression do not only exploit you, they silence you also. Part of the silencing is to tell you that your oppression is normal and normative and the very best way to do it is to say that God ordained it to be so. Some idiotic preachers would even teach na niloob talaga ng Diyos na merong mayayaman at merong mahihirap at parte talaga ng kalooban nya na merong injustice. Kalooban ng Diyos ang Patriarchy and that women’s highest honor is to be home makers. If that is not enough, the same system will tell you that if you deviate from the system, it will shame and ostracize you or worst do violence against you and your family for SPEAKING OUT like what happened to Jesus, an annoying preacher who will not shut-up. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the temple priest and other leaders told Jesus, manahimik ka at patahimikin mo ang mga sumusunod sayo to which he replied, kahit patahimikin ko sila mismong mga bato at pader ay magsasalita. Oh eh di yun, pinako sya sa Krus. However, hindi mo kasi mapapatay hindi lamang si Jesus, pero gayun dun yung mensaheng kanyang inihayag. You cannot kill and bury Jesus and the message he proclaimed. Where there is systemic and structural sin, God will always rise up from the many massacres and graves that we try to bury God into. The God we worship will not be silenced so why should we? God will always and continue to rise up with each new generation of the oppressed. The resistance and the Jedi will always be reborn even at the brink of annihilation. This is what Easter means. Hindi maililibing ang Diyos na palaging babangon sa bawat henerasyon ng mga api because the first generation Christians were literally a group of oppressed, mga pesante at api sa emperyo at templo. And what Pentecost means is not just the Spirit that anoints the oppressed followers of Jesus but also the Spirit speaking out the Easter message through a people who were once afraid, silenced, and voiceless. Ang mensahe pa rin ng Pentecost ay ang muling pagkabuhay – if I dare say, ang paulit-ulit na pagkabuhay at pagbangon ni Hesus sa mga inaaping nagpupumiglas at nais maghayag at magkwento. The followers of Jesus were a group of no bodies. They were powerless individuals with no significant wealth or influence. Despite witnessing the resurrection they remained as cowards huddled together in a room fearing for their lives because they might also get arrested, tortured, and killed by Jewish and Roman authorities. They were huddled together in an upper room with windows shut and doors locked. And despite witnessing the risen Christ eating and drinking with them, and then later, according to Luke and Matthew’s story, ascended to heaven – wherever heaven is – they didn’t know what to do next or where to go. Easter joy was wrapped with with fear lalo na nung umalis na si Hesus somewhere out there. But somehow, for some reason, all of a sudden they woke-up one morning with such bravery and boldness that they went out to proclaim a dangerous message – Jesus is risen and the Spirit testifies to the work and message of Jesus of Nazareth whom Temple and Empire tried to kill but could not; That his radical vision of society of equality and justice rooted on radically inclusive love remains and will push forward. Kaya dangerous yung message. Na si Hesus at ang mensahe nya ay buhay at magpapatuloy despite the violence of temple and empire.

And this message proclaimed by the disciples in that first Pentecost was heard and understood by many people of different languages. Why? Aside from the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon them like tongues of fire, voicing out a message of freedom, equality, and new life outside the Imperial systems of this world is something that every human being, especially the oppressed, can understand and will understand. A message of hope and new life in the person of one who is like them, a peasant from Nazareth is something that hearts of the oppressed will recognize. The language of the oppressed is universal. The language of love based on justice is universal. The Language of human dignity and rights is universal. Pag may nanakit sayo o sa mahal mo sa buhay; kung may nambastos sayo; kung ninakawan ka or pamilya mo; each one of us will have the same feelings and reactions, and we of course naturally and universally want to make it right. Yung ngang nagkamali sa sukat sa lupa kahit kapiraso lang ang nakuha sa iyong lupain, kinagagalit mo o kaya ng pamilya mo; To drive the point further, inagawan ka ng jowa nung kaibigan mo. Sumakabilang kaibigan yung jowa mo, diba magagalit ka? You are not only offended and disrespected, ang pakiramdam mo talaga ninakawan ka, inisahan ka, binetray ka? We all understand and recognize what injustice looks like even in such situations kaya walang makakapagsabi sino man sa atin na hindi nyo alam o naranasan ang injustice or being treated unfairly. Sino ka man, ano man ang antas ng iyong pinag-aralan, ano man ang iyong pinaniniwalaan o hindi pinaniniwalaan – pag alam mong ginawan ka ng masama, alam mong may nanglamang sayo, naturalmenteng gusto mo itong maitama. Naturalmente na gusto natin patas at pantay ang laban. The experience of exclusion and exploitation is universal whether you see it or not. Justice is what love looks like in society, and therefore it is as universal as love. No race, language, religion, culture, or Empire can de-universalize love expressed thru justice and common good, which is the core message of every religion and spiritual tradition anyway – the heart of the Jewish covenant, and the core commandment of Jesus – Love your neighbor as you love yourself. This is the way to Love God.

Tayo who claim to be Queer progressive Christians – we claim to follow Jesus while recognizing human imperfection – we are called for the first task of protest – Proclamation. Pagpapahayag. I use the word proclamation rather than evangelization because na-hijack na ng ibang Christians ang word na evangelization to mean preaching God’s word in order to convert anyone into their version of toxic Christianity.

So let us use proclamation. Afterall it is the same thing. To Evangelize is to Proclaim Goodnews to the poor and oppressed, give sight to the blind, give freedom to the captives and declare the Jubilee of the Lord as per Luke 4:18. How do we Proclaim? How do we make chika bilang Easter and Pentecost people 2,024 years after?

Discern, pray, and reflect – Hindi chika kaagad kung hindi naman malinaw mismo sayo ano ang ichichika mo. May moment na kailangan pag-isipan maigi ang ichichika. Lalo na sa ating mga accla, ang dami rin sa atin chika ng chika ng hindi muna nag-iisip maigi. Before Pentecost came, the followers of Jesus were together constantly praying and it is safe to assume that in their prayers, both individual and as a group, they also reflected and tried to make sense of everything that happened to Jesus from the beginning of his ministry in Galilee, the many miracles he performed, to his entry into Jerusalem, his arrest and torture, condemnation and eventual crucifixion and death, and then later witnessing and experiencing him alive and eating and drinking with them. Before they could come out and proclaim, they prayed and reflected, and in their prayers waited for the Holy Spirit. Hindi tayo nagsisimba dito linggo-linggo para lang magbaklaaan although walang masama sa mga baklaan natin, kwentuhang drag or biruang Bini, while at the same time, what we do here individually and together has to be very clear and part of it is our prayer life and reflection. We pray for God’s guidance and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We prayerfully reflect, asan ba ang Diyos sa mga kaganapan sa aking buhay? Asan ba ang Diyos sa kaganapan sa Open Table MCC? Asan ba ang Diyos sa kaganapan sa LGBTQIA+ movement? Asan ang pagkilos ng Diyos sa mga Pride events at mga martsa? Asan ba ang Diyos sa mga kaganapan sa iba’t iba pang mga sector? Paano Sya patuloy na kumikilos sa ating panahon ngayon? Ano ang kanyang ibinubulong sa puso ng bawat isa at sa ating kolektibo kung ano ba ang ating mga dapat gawin, ganapin, at kalahukan ayon sa ating mga kakayanan? Before we can proclaim — actually, hindi before but AS WE PROCLAIM we must constantly seek and discern God in prayer and reflection. Many of the Christians Mystics even those who are activists like Dorothy Day, the trappiest monk Merton, and the gay priest, Di umano, Fr. Henry Nouwen all said that Justice work like spirituality, require a deep sense of prayer. To check the health of our work as a church, they said to check our prayer life. Kumusta ang prayer life natin individually and as a church community? We must continually discern and reflect God’s presence and wisdom in our continuing mission of proclamation.

Bravely Proclaim – Upon the coming of the Holy Spirit to the first generation Christians, despite the threat of the similar imprisonment, torture, and possible execution that Jesus endured, they bravely went out to proclaim Christ’s resurrection and his message of a love thru compassion, justice, and common good. Yung mga duwag na nagsitakbuhan nung at nagsipag tago nung inaresto si Jesus; yung mga disipules na nowhere to be found during his crucifixion except for some women, now they were bold and brave to speak publicly about Jesus and his message. Wala na silang pakielam kung hulihin sila and indeed hinuli nga si Pedro at Juan at dinala sa Sanhedrin. They went out and proclaimed. Lumabas sila at nagpahayag. There is no way circumventing this and dito tayo natatalo ng mga conservative Christians kasi sobrang kakapal ng mukha nila that some of them will knock door to door, “Gusto mo bang marinig ang mabuting balita ni Hesu Kristo?.” Pero wala ito sa kakapalan ng Mukha actually. It is in their conviction. They are so convinced that they need to convert people to their version of Christianity and their church. While the intention and motivation is problematic, the conviction is really convincing many. Sobrang convicing minsan pati kapwa nating accla nacoconvince nil an pwede silang mabago sa pamamagitan ng exorcism. Diba? Habang tayong mga progressive Christians na naka aircon sa 16th floor ng Wilshire Annapolis Plaza, tend to be cloistered and think that making chika sa labas is so beneath us; to “evangelize” is so ewww. Even when we are equally convicted na mas mapagpalaya, logical, at mas maka-Diyos at makatao ang ating mga pinaniniwalaan at ang ating misyon, we cringe at the idea of handing out pamplets.

Now, I am not saying na next week mag-door-to-door tayo sa mga condominums sa Mandaluyong or dyan sa Manhattan sa Cubao or dito mismo sa building na ito. Pero it is really something to think about and consider not only on how we can do better sa ating proclamation but also if we have the conviction to proclaim God’s love as a way to challenge the evangelization of toxic Christians and their toxic Christianity.

Individually – how do you bravely proclaim what you have found either in your life before MCC or here in MCC. Eh di ikwento mo. Ikwento nyo. Tularan nyo si Jack na nag-evangelize nung unang date nila ni Glenn. During the dark ages, merong isang best in invite – Ang chizmiz, yung mga nameet nya na hindi nya bet, dadalhin nya sa MCC. Hindi man kita maging jowa, maging sister, brother, or sibling kay Lord. Although parang hindi ata recommended yun noh? Do we chika the inclusive and liberating faith in Jesus Christ as proclaimed and practiced by Open Table MCC? Do you? Shinashare mo man lang ba ang announcements natin sa facebook and IG? How do you chika SOGIESC101 to your friends and family? How do you chika about SOGIE equality bill to others even among other LGBTs na wala pa rin ding clue about it? Aside from making chika about church – Do you still come out and tell your story as a way of proclamation?

Your story is a Jesus story. Ang Diyos ay kumilos at patuloy na kumikilos sa iyong buhay bilang Queer Christian – ito ba ay inihahayag mo para ma-encourage, inspire, or mabigyan ng lakas ng loob ang mga kapwa mo LGBT lalo na mga batang LGBT na once upon a time was YOU? Kung ikaw ay isa sa mga pinagpalang anak ng Diyos na hindi nakaranas ng pang-aapi sa sariling pamilya dahil yung family mo ay either walang pakielam or yung family mo ay tanggap ka ng buong-buo, hindi ka parin OFF duty of proclaiming the message of God’s love found in your life. As blessed as you are, you are still asked to proclaim God’s love found in your story.

Don’t get me wrong. I will uphold and honor the idea na Coming Out is each person’s decision and I respect those who do not feel to come out. But consider this baks… Simply because okay ka na, kung okay ka man talaga and you feel that you do not own anyone and this world your story… are you not being a little selfish and a Diva sa ganyang linyahan? Attituderang “I DON’T CARE!” Until we reach that day and society where coming out is a thing of the past, until then, every single one of us will STILL need to come out and tell our story to help, inspire, and give courage to our nakshies, beshies, and even our grannies who lived at a different time and generation of being queer. Kahit utang-uta na ako sa pagchika ng kwento ko bilang baklang pastor na pumasok sa seminary – when needed I tell the story. You need to tell your story if and when you are ready but not from an attitude of apathy. Someone needs to hear your story. Someone has to hear your journey from pain and struggle inside the closet and out into joy, freedom, and success. Someone needs to hear your love story. People need to hear the 17 years relationship of Pastor Egay and Kuya Vince. That it is possible for Queer people to live happy and successful lives. Someone needs to hear your story of survival from HIV and AIDS. Someone needs to keep telling the stories of our fallen friends who died because of AIDS and the stigma propated by no less than Christians. That you as a person living with HIV, you are now living a life of joy; that your status does not prevent you from pursuing a joyful and meaningful life. A newly diagnosed person needs to hear your story if only to another life. And that in everything you had to experience, struggle, and endure, even in your most painful experiences, that GOD was, is, and always there. Now, don’t get me wrong, hindi ko ibig sabihin. You come out everywhere, anytime, all the time. Of course, be wise and discerning when, where, and how for not everyone deserves your story, but definitely, someone does. Some needs to see and hear the Gospel through you and through your story. Remember this, dead is the person who no longer has any stories to tell. And certainly you do not worship a dead God but one who is alive and ever present – Immanuel – God with us.

Actively and passionately Volunteer in the different ministries of the church and share in our financial responsibility – So it is not just proclaiming God’s love as individuals, it is also proclaiming God’s love as a Church. And we effectively do that when each of us volunteer and do our part of the work. We are able to do more and reach more people when the most basic things of church organizing and worship are done not just out of duty but out of love; out of conviction. Babalik ako dun sa chika ko kanina na kaya madalas talo tayo ng mga conservative Christians is because, yung frustration natin with them bitbit natin dito sa MCC and therefore, we no longer give our better and best. Nung nasa megachurch pa ako, ganito kalaki ang binibigay ko at ganitong amount of time and spend ko sa kanila pero nung nag-MCC na… well. Hmmm. Now, I’m not saying rin naman na gawin nyong mundo at buhay ang MCC in the same way as before. One of the core commitment of the leadership of this church and me as your pastor is to respect and honor your personal autonomy and freedom, and to always encourage you to do other things outside of this church. To have some distance from this church. To experience God in other places and other relationships. While at the same time, I want us to think deeply and carefully how much do we want our church to BE THE CHURCH that God intended it to be and TO BE THE CHURCH WE CAN BE TRULY PROUD OF? A progressive church that offers a Christian spirituality that is liberating, logical, diverse, compassionate, and hindi toxic. May chika ang group nila Joms during the visioning workshop last year na hindi naman masama ang maging Mega Church at maging mainstream ang isang progressive church na tulad ng MCC kung napaka buti ng naidudulot nito as experienced by each of you. Kung papatulan ko yang dream of a queer mega church – the question is, what are you willing to do? How much of your time, talent, energy, presence, patience, and finances are you willing to POUR OUT into that vision and into the mission? DO You have the conviction to say to them, if you can, we can even better? Yan chika nung founding pastor ng Free Community Church Singapor, nung nagsisimula pa lang sila at wala pang sariling facility, merong conviction sa puso nya na “if the conservative Christians can do it, we can do it even better. We will show you all.” Cause if we will continue to just give barya barya of our time, talent, treasure, barya barya of our heart, body, mind and spirit – Let’s not expect or dream of something we are not willing to put ourselves into. And again this is matter of conviction and commitment that I will never pressure you, shame you or manipulate anyone of you. It is a matter of conviction and conviction that each of you have to decide for yourself again and again. To proclaim the story of God’s love for queer people and for all people in and through Open Table MCC, we must open ourselves to the inspiration and anointing of the Holy Spirit to do what we can in the different ministries, advocacies, and administrative tasks of this church we call our home, our family, and our mission.

This year is the 30th Anniversary of the 1994 Pride march by our queer ancestors of MCC Manila and Pro-Gay Philippines. I would interpret the coming of the Holy Spirit when the first Asian MCC Bishop, Rev. Tong Han came to the Philippines, April of 1994 and encouraged MCC Manila to conduct the first Pride march and because of that, June 26, 1994, nagmartsa ang MCC Manila and Pro Gay Philippines with the banner, Gays and Lesbians Unite, Fight for Our Rights! Lumabas sila tulad nung mga unang disipules nung Pentecost. Lumabas sila bilang mga marginalized upang ipahayag sa lahat ang kanilang pagkatao, karapatan, at mga ka-apihan. Bilang MCC lumabas rin sila para ihayag ang mapagpalayang at mapangyakap nap ag-ibig ng Diyos para sa sang-ka-acclahan sa Pilipinas. After the Pride march they continued to tell stories in the pulpit during worship and proclaim during dinner times of the community. 30 years after, we continue to tell their story and proclaim the same message they did. 2000 years after we continue to tell the story of a carpenter’s son and his message of love found in the parables of farmers and fisherfolks. In memory of the first century Christians during their Pentecost Moment and in memory of the first Pride March in the Philippines by our queer ancestors, with the power and anointing of the same Holy Spirit let us continue fighting for our rights by proclaiming God’s love rooted in justice and equality. Let us continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus found in the stories and struggles of our lives. Sa ngalan nila Ipaglaban natin ang ating Kulayaan sa pamamagitan ng paghahayag ng ating karapatan, pagkwekwentong ating mga karanasan, at pagpapatotoo sa pag-big ng Diyos kay Kristo. Amen.

The post Lumabas at Chumika appeared first on Open Table Metropolitan Community Church.

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